I posted a picture of starting this book on my Instagram a few weeks back and a couple people commented about wanting to know my thoughts on the book while living here in Ghana.
Well, let me start with this...
The book is labeled "an experimental mutiny against excess". The book has certainly widened my eyes to the level of excess that has been reached in the States...and in me.
As I have been praying through some of the things that I have read in this book, there have been times when I have felt saddened by the "needs" we seem to believe we must have. I see real need everyday here in Ghana. I have seen children malnourished. I have seen when a child's best dress is ripped and torn, but she still feels beautiful when she twirls in it. I have seen one-roomed mud houses that house six. And I have seen that in the midst of such physical poverty, there is, at times, such rich faith.
Yet, in America, we have so much, never satisfied with "enough", and yet we are somehow satisfied with a shallow faith, moved by any breeze that comes along.
I don't want to come across judging the differences between these two countries as bad and good. There are surely good things and bad things in both countries and cultures.
So I will make this about me. When I asked God what He wanted me to give up as a response to Jen's call to mutiny against the excess in our lives...
He said, "All".
Excuses ran through my head, doing battle against the call to sacrifice. But, I am continually drawn back to this very place.
Some might think that it was especially brave to pick up my life and move to Ghana. But, the call to sacrifice my life for Christ is an everyday process. It is painful and hard and the selfishness inside of me pleads for my own space, my own stuff, my own life...
As I read Matthew 8:18-22, I know that the cost of following Christ is a hard one. It's not meant to be easy. But, that doesn't mean that the sacrifice isn't worth it.
Giving all of me, not holding part back...that is not easy and it's daily and it is something that I would need to do here in Ghana just like I would need to do if I were living in the States.
It seems like a constant reminder...I must keep being reminded because I am so quick to forget...that this life isn't about me. It is about His Kingdom and it is for His glory. Period.
So it comes down to this here:
"I don't want to consume the redemption Jesus made possible then spurn the methods by which he achieved it. Jesus' kingdom continues in the same manner it was launched; through humility, subversion, love, sacrifice; through calling empty religion to reform and living like we believe the meek will indeed inherit the earth. We cannot carry the gospel to the poor and lowly while emulating the practices of the rich and powerful. We've been invited into a story that begins with humility and ends with glory; never the other way around. Lets align ourselves correctly, sharing in the humble ministry of Jesus, knowing one day we will feast at His table in splendor."
-Jen Hatmaker, "Seven", p. 68
So, what I have...all that I have...I need to be prepared to walk away from for the sake of Christ, not just possessions, but time and space and food and love. For the sake of those he has called me to in this time and in this place, I need to live in a place of surrender.
How does that tangibly work out? I am not sure yet, but I am willing to figure it out.
What is He calling you to give up?